July 26, 2013 |
"He who makes a beast of himself," Samuel Johnson famously observed, "gets rid of the pain of being a man. " His subject is, of course, inebriation and the way that, in the derangement of the senses, we might escape, however briefly, what Lawrence Osborne calls "a loneliness that otherwise cannot be so easily dislodged. " And yet, if Osborne's delightfully idiosyncratic "The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey" has anything to tell us, it's that there is more to drinking than derangement, that it may lead to a transcendence more profound.
April 9, 2012
SERIES 2 Broke Girls: Max and Caroline (Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs) decide to supplement their incomes with drugs in this new episode when they sign up to be test subjects in a clinical drug trial to earn money (8:30 p.m. CBS). Hart of Dixie: Gary Cole guest stars as Zoe's (Rachel Bilson) father, who comes to Bluebell at his daughter's request to operate on George's (Scott Porter) father (Eric Pierpoint) in this new episode (9 p.m. KTLA). Being Human: The series about a vampire, a werewolf and ghost ends its season (9 p.m. Syfy)
January 22, 2012 |
The Man Within My Head Pico Iyer Alfred A. Knopf: 256 pp., $25.95 Writers don't always get the critics and biographers they deserve, but since his death in 1991 Graham Greene has been on the whole pretty lucky. Norman Sherry completed his three-volume biography, a magnificent monument. National Book Award winner Shirley Hazzard wrote a sharply exquisite memoir of how she and her husband, the biographer Francis Steegmuller, got to know Greene on the isle of Capri, where Greene lived some months of each year during the 1950s and 1960s.
November 27, 2010 |
American author Bill Barich, a resident of Ireland these past nine years, was rummaging through a local secondhand shop in the summer of 2008 when he stumbled across a "beat up old copy" of "Travels With Charley," John Steinbeck's late-in-life attempt in 1960 to reacquaint himself with his native country. The book is a sour look at the American people as Steinbeck, in failing health, succumbed to pessimism over the caliber of his fellow citizens and their embrace of a culture built on the plastic and the contrived.
November 12, 2010 |
Executives at TLC, the cable channel airing "Sarah Palin's Alaska," insist the docu-travelogue starring the former GOP vice presidential nominee and possible future presidential candidate has no political agenda. Yet if Palin were looking to create a compelling campaign biopic, she could do worse than the lushly produced, eight-part series premiering Sunday. The program casts her as a chipper frontierswoman who juggles motherhood with adventures in Alaska's vast wilderness. One moment Palin is baking cupcakes; the next, she's perched in a boat watching two growling brown bears wrestle.